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Article categories: ANAT Member ProfileIssue 59
January 27th, 2010

At the moment Nancy Mauro-Flude is an ethno-blogger for the Institute of Network Cultures in Amsterdam; organises a technical carnival in Slovakia; is on Radio Patapoe Tuesdays 23:00 GMT+2; adds to her underwater database; webcasts the tradestream outside her window; works with radio mike, loop station and powerbook; perfects her solo show “All Of Us [Girls] Have Been Dead For So Long”.

Nancy Mauro-Flude, Self Portrait (as Sister O)

She has conducted complex translocal operations using, amongst other tools, Keyworx. She has studied with Shamans in Columbian jungles, danced in Korean cabarets, sung with punk bands, learned to tango in Buenos Aires and has recently graduated from DasArts Post Academic Institute in the Netherlands. Nancy’s work is a generative, energetic collision of net technology, riot grrl, dance, open source programming, feminism, vaudeville and the concerns of the psyche. Her work weaves together transcendent practices of many kinds while feeding from the rot and beauty of contemporary daily life.

What is your first memory of seriously engaging with creativity?
‘fragile obsidian’ – when I was about sixteen. I cut up analogue tape, with sticky tape to edit. I stole glass sounds from Kate Bush records, found music box and tap dripping noises, used twigs from bush walks, made costumes, props, choreography and also found time to dance. I vaguely remember I was reading a lot about German expressionists and the anarchist dada movement at the time.

Given that your practice ranges from dance to open-source programming to skateboarding to music to writing to whatever, how do you decide what form any one element in your projects will take?
The content has its own life. It chooses me. I am nutting away and eventually something comes and it takes its own form. I work quite chaotic, and poor!  I work with what I can.  I don’t like being pinned down. I am interested in those who disguise and wreak havoc on the sanctity of divisions. I practice the method of radical empiricism – basing my quest for knowledge on my own experience, not excluding it because it doesn’t fit prevailing theories, belief systems or artistic movements. I attempt to do this using every possible medium to which I have access.

Who is Sister O?
Sister O is a divinator of flows from the netherworld, a real time hacker and re-processor of information. She is an ancient robot, a butterfly, a tango dancer, a tsunami, a side-show doll, a bowerbird, a platypus, a frilled neck lizard, a pirate, an old cat saved by learning new tricks. Sister O is someone who, when she is vibrated enough, comes to the vertical plane from the under water database. I am her channeller, her divinator, her conduit.

What is an Operation?
An operation is Sister O highlighting the properties of kelp in dirty water. It is where messages are mobilised and reconfigured from the underwater database of unvalidated, censored and subjugated knowledges.

What art has really made you stop in your tracks?
Chantal Akerman film “La Chambre”; Patti Smith “Masked Bawl” Creem April 1974; Pina Bauch solo “Cafe Müller”; Virginia Woolf  “A Room of One’s Own”; Bikini Kill CD version of the first two records.

What would the ideal conditions be for you to make art?
(I’d live) by myself in Amsterdam on the water with friends next door, but with a garden and bigger space to do my dance practice. I like working from home, as my practice is not separate from my life. I’d have a personal assistant and a full-time producer to organise my chaos. I ‘d still use myrtle – G4 powerbook – and all my other gadgets. I’d buy an external dvd burner, video beamer, a tv!, a G5. I’d like to exhibit at Palais de Tokyo in Paris. It’s a really great artspace set in an old Palace on the Seine. It’s connected to the street there as its marble steps are a great place to skateboard so there is a little hub for the artists, the students and young people who are the unsettled elements of the social body.

Linda Dement
Linda Dement is a digital artist currently working in Sydney


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